Jaitley arrives in UK for talks, Gandhi statue unveiling
London: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today arrived here for his first official visit and began his two-day tour with a bilateral meeting over breakfast with UK Chancellor George Osborne at his office.
The two ministers are scheduled to address a wide range of topics to further strengthen India-UK ties and more specific issues likely to be on the agenda include the Narendra Modi led government’s commitment towards addressing concerns around retrospective taxation, in the backdrop of UK-based Cairn Energy’s dispute over a USD 1.6 billion tax bill.
“The bilateral meeting with Mr Osborne will be followed by a broader meeting involving Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Prime Minister Cameron’s Indian Diaspora Champion Priti Patel,” a spokesperson for the UK Treasury department said.
A meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron is planned for tomorrow and likely to take place before the official unveiling ceremony for a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Parliament Square.
“It is with great pleasure that I have accepted Prime Minister Cameron’s invitation to attend the inauguration of the new statue of Gandhi in Parliament Square in London,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley will also hold a meeting with leading institutional investors at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) when he heads to the city’s financial district to also launch a new branch of the Union Bank of India later on Friday.
The senior BJP leader is also scheduled to address a gathering of business chiefs and politicians on ‘Investment Opportunities in India’ at an event involving the Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) delegation which includes FICCI president and Bharat Hotels chairperson Jyotsna Suri, Rajan Bharati Mittal of Bharti Enterprises and Neeraj Kanwar of Apollo Tyres, among others.
He will end his first official day in the UK with a more informal gathering organised by the Indian Diaspora group, NRI Foundation, at the Taj Hotel in central London.